This blog post is not intended to get comments from people wishing me happy birthday. Really, I just want to write about it.
In Japan, 33 is considered a bad luck year for women, and we are supposed to go and pray at a shrine. I don't know why. Seems to me that 33 is a prime year - many women get married, have babies, change jobs, get masters degrees, etc right around this age. Plus, according to Glamour magazine, the early 30's is a woman's sexual prime. (I am way too tired for that though.)
So, I am not going to go and pray at a shrine to wish away all my bad luck. I am going to embrace 33 and enjoy it.
I have a lot to write about actually, but I want to review my New Years goals instead and see if I am making progress on them.
2009 Chronological Scrapbook - doing it and keeping up. Last week, I ordered my photos for June. I am getting bored with it though and would like to change it up for 2010. Perhaps go with a totally different style of "chronologically" tracking our family life. Last year and this year marked big changes for us, so it was good to have everything scrapped out.
"Travels in Japan" Scrapbook - finished volume 1, which covered 2002 - 2005. We took many trips during that time. I presented it to Yusuke for Father's Day and he totally loved it. He said, and I quote, "This is the best gift ever." I am still working on volume 2 (years 2006 - present) and will give it to him for his birthday at the end of the month.
Stick to budget and savings plan - Now that I am off work for the year, we cannot save as much each month, but we have quite a bit socked away in case we need it. I would like to find more ways to be frugal though. We will be able to make a couple of major purchases very soon though, and we are now talking about our options.
Keep house neat and clean - I am not sure Yusuke would agree with me, and it is hard with a toddler around, but I think everything looks good. I worked hard to clean many of the nooks and crannies before Luka was born, and now I am just coasting.
Enjoy maternity leave with new baby - that I am doing. Even though confinement is officially over, I am not planning to be as busy as I was when I had Ailin. Back then, I was so interested in joining and/or starting playgroups. Now, I just want to be left alone to focus on myself and my family. Besides, Ailin still has her Bilingual Kids Club nearly every week, so Luka can go to that with us.
Take online photography class - I am still looking for an appropriate one, but I am currently signed up with 3 online courses directly related to scrapbooking. Two of them are for learning how to use Photoshop Elements. The other one is for improving your storytelling techniques for journaling on your scrapbook pages. After these classes finish, I might take a class about making digital scrapbook pages. I am loving these classes!!!
Learn how to use Photoshop Elements - see above. I am taking 2 classes from Jessica Sprague's website. (see my list on the side under Links I Love). She is a great teacher and I am amazed at how much I am learning!! Omg, I never knew you could do all that stuff with photos! I might post some of my work from these classes in a few days.
Keep dining table, coffee table and counter free of junk - I think I am doing a good job of this, but here is what is on these surfaces as I write. A huge box of onions - a gift from Amy's garden; 2 sets of flashcards from Ailin's Reading in English program, 2 boxes of baby formula that I don't know what to do with and need to get rid of, Luka's nursing pillow, Okaeshi catalogs (those gift catalogs where you can order elaborate thank you gifts for all the people who give you baby gifts), Ailin's sketch book, Luka's stroller toys. Hmmm...perhaps I need to work on this goal!
Keep scrapbook/computer room neat and organized - I definitely need to work on this! Okay, I promise that by the end of the week, these two areas will be squeaky clean!
Teach Ailin more English songs and words - We recently started a reading in English program with her - it's based on the Teach your Baby to Read book by Glenn Doman. I made 100 flashcards for her, and we go through 2 or 3 sets of 5 each day. Each session is about 20 or 30 seconds, so it's really easy. As for the singing, we added a new element to her bedtime routine. After the 3 bedtime stories, we turn out the lights and cuddle up, then she requests about 5 or 6 songs and I sing them to her. She is very very strict about her requests, and if I make a mistake, she really lets me know about it! (I need to learn more songs.)
Be more sympathetic to Yusuke - I am trying to do this. He is feeling pretty low this week anyway.
Try to not get annoyed by Yusuke - Every day, this exact thought goes through my mind which is a good thing because then my natural feeling of annoyance immediately dissipates, and I think "How silly of me to get annoyed by that. He is only human. I am sure I totally annoy him too."
Walk Max every day - Yeah, as soon as my hips stop creaking and making noises, I'll assume that they have recovered enough from giving birth to an 8 pounder and I will walk Max. For now, Yusuke is doing it.
That's it! I should have added "Go to bed by 11pm every night."